The G.E.T.* Debate Round 2 – Techquity

On Tuesday May 26th, 2020, the ‘epicness’ of the best Great Ed Tech (G.E.T.*) debates continued. This night’s topic was ‘Technology is a force for equity in society.’ On the pro side was Nataly and Kalyn, and on the con side was Victoria and Jasmine. Even a prairie storm couldn’t cause a power outage on this debate. Check out the debate below.

Let’s take a look at the pre-debate predictions.

It looks like this could either way.

Both teams did great research and had a great game plan (Click Here for Readings). Basically breaking down to the access and potential versus the gaps and motives. Here’s what the tale of the tape after the introductory spar.

Pro

  • 96% of youth have access to internet in U.S.
  • provides accessibility
  • books can now be accessible for more to read
  • helps with movements like the Arab Spring that wouldn’t be possible before

Cons

  • misinformation
  • digital citizenship not considered
  • not equal opportunity and access (rural / reserves)
  • not all available for free
  • can be overwhelming and discouraging

Both teams had great points and brought a multitude of speaking points.

Pros

  • increase of access to information
  • increase of literacy
  • ability to modify lessons
  • assistive learning
  • give students a voice

Cons

  • affordability
  • vulnerable at risk increased
  • not all sure how to properly adapt
  • put software ahead of ed practices

Let’s take a look at the final results.

Looks like many decided there is still a lot of inequality when it comes to ‘techquity’.

Epilogue

Love these debates. There really isn’t a clear cut winner on either side and that’s why it is such a great topic to research and discuss. I am pro-tech and I have seen first hand the potential and some amazing effects that technology has had on student learning. I have witnessed many that would not have had an opportunity to grow, share, and shine that simply would not have had these opportunities before. I have also witnessed some of the pitfalls and challenges that come with access and ability using technology. There have been a few lessons I thought were ‘no-brainers’ only to see my shortsightedness leave me being the one with ‘no-brain’. I was so excited about trying something new that I overlooked that for some it many be too much in terms of skills and ‘know-how’ or to little in terms of time or access for example. My world view can also be a little narrow. I’m extremely privileged to have the opportunities I have had personally and professionally. I have become better at seeing the big picture, but that’s why I need something like this debate to keep me grounded. Still the potential there to create a more level playing field for all (help for those with learning challenges, opportunities for the marginalize to bridge the divide, and access for all). I have been fortunate to witness the amazing growth of techquity through out my career. The current situation with the world pandemic has magnified the need to move forward and grow in this area. It isn’t quite there yet but we are moving in the right direction. I hope to see that in my life time and really see techquity for everybody and I do believe it will move the human race forward. It’s definitely worth promoting and championing.

Resources

Net Neutrality – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_neutrality

Universal Deign for Learning – http://udlguidelines.cast.org/

Equity in Technology Wakelet – https://wke.lt/w/s/1fjX_J

Check Out These Tweets on Techquity – #techquity

Ken Shelton’s Blog on Equity Topics – http://kennethshelton.net/blog/category/Equity

Check out this podcast featuring George Couros and Ken Shelton for more thoughts on ‘Techquity’

‘cannot have an equitable learning environment that is absent of technology’ – Ken Shelton

4 thoughts on “The G.E.T.* Debate Round 2 – Techquity

  1. Great post Dean, when you mentioned no-brainer it reminded me of my first year in the classroom. I assumed that all my grade 4 and 5 students would be able to log into the computers we ease. Little did I know this simple skill was something that I took for granted. I agree with your concluding statement. I think that we are not quite at techequity. But I think we are continually moving in the right direction.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for adding additional resources Dean! I watched the video podcast of George and Ken and it was very interesting. I hadn’t heard of the term techquity before. It makes a lot of sense. I can’t wait until I’m done my Master’s Degree in a couple of weeks and can go back and explore some of the topics that intrigued me more in-depth – this being one of them.

    Liked by 1 person

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